Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. (born 1955 Schenectady, New York) is an author and poet, much of whose work falls within the horror fiction, noir fiction / hardboiled, and dark fantasy genres. He lives in Germany.
Pulver started his publishing career in the early 1990s with a number of short stories published in various American small press magazines, foremost among them Robert M. Price’s Crypt of Cthulhu. His tales cover subjects ranging from Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and Robert W. Chambers’ “King in Yellow.”
Pulver’s professional debut came with the publication of his Lovecraftian novel, “Nightmare’s Disciple”. In addition to various American small press magazines, Pulver’s work has been featured in numerous anthologies in the US, UK, France, and Japan. Some of these anthologies include: “Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror”, “The Tindalos Mythos”, “Spawn of the Green Abyss”, “The Book of Eibon”, Lin Carter’s “Anton Zarnak: Supernatural Sleuth”, and “Rehearsals For Oblivion”.
Nearly two dozen short works of his have been translated into French and Japanese.
Of Pulver and his 2009 work (“Blood Will Have its Season”), published by Hippocampus Press, critically acclaimed author, Thomas Ligotti, has said, “Some writers one admirers and others make one want to do as they do, or try. For me, Joe Pulver is of the latter type. His imagination is so vile so much of the time that it makes me giggle with amazement. And the prose so deadly visionary. I’m grateful that the pieces in this collection are those of a fellow horror writer who has raised the ante on what it means to be such a creature.”
Lovecraftian biographer and scholar, S. T. Joshi, has said, “The prose of Joe Pulver can take its place with that of the masters of our genre-E.A. Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti-while his imaginative reach is something uniquely his own.”
Rick Keffel of Bookotron.com has this to say: “Whatever your expectations may be, check them at the door. Pulver has a truly unique style for the horror genre, and this collection of short stories is a perfect vehicle for this sort of style . . . Pulver is an original.”
Noted Lovecraftian editor, scholar, and writer, Robert M. Price has stated: “From the earlier book (“Nightmare’s Disciple”) I already recognized Pulver’s genius in his ability to shape-shift stylistically between Raymond Chandler and Thomas Ligotti–without your even noticing! Like the gospel demon, his name ought to be Legion, since he assumes a new voice and persona as every particular chapter or sequence requires. In the new book, Pulver’s polyphonic gifts mutate to a new and even more powerful pitch. The short scope of these many works allows him to write less leisurely, more rapid-fire. The author possesses another unique gift. The only way I know to describe it is to say that he combines the headlong, violent pace and savage sensibilities of Robert E. Howard with the refined and baleful mood of Robert W. Chambers and Thomas Ligotti, and all this in an intricate, almost blank verse poetic diction. There is nothing like it!”
Laird Barron states, that “Joe Pulver is that rare artist who wears his influences on his sleeve yet is wholly original. He infuses his mellifluous prose with a raw, intellectual swagger that is sorely lacking in genre fiction. There are many writers of dark fantasy and horror, but after Joe Pulver the gods broke the mold.”
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. online presences: